Here are some questions based on last Sunday’s sermon text (John 5:1-18), in case they’re helpful to you for personal growth or group discussion…
- [6-7] The invalid doesn’t really answer Jesus’ simple question. He appears to lack an urgent desire to be healed from his disability. Is that hard for you to believe? Do you have an urgent desire to be healed with regard to certain aspects of your life (physical, emotional, relational, spiritual)? Are there any “obvious” areas of your life with God in which you “should” want to be healed, but you really aren’t asking God for it? What sins do you want to hold on to just a while longer before you’re forced to give them up?
- Jesus, by his gracious act, creates a situation in which this man’s faith (if he has any) will be tested through direct conflict with the world. It also becomes an opportunity for the world to be confronted with the truth of Jesus Christ. Do you find yourself in any similar situations, having similar opportunities to bear witness to Christ? Do you value such opportunities as a result of his gracious work in your life? Or do you try to avoid such situations?
- [7, 11, 15] This fellow has a habit of blaming others—including God—for his life. Circumstances are usually beyond our control, but are we right to complain, grumble, and blame others or God? How should we think, feel, or pray when we’re in difficult places in life?
- The healed man has several opportunities to express thanks to Jesus (or at least not betray Jesus to the Jews!), but he demonstrates a clear lack of gratitude. Is that hard for you to believe? Are you thankful? For what? To whom? Why?